Today, during Electronic Arts’ quarterly financial conference call for analysts and investors, chief executive officer Andrew Wilson and chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the pricing of their games.
The question was about the price of Star Wars: Squadrons (which will cost $39.99 with no microtransaction), but the topic was expanded to pricing, in general, going forward.
Jorgensen started by explaining the specific pricing for Squadrons.
“We always look at the games and we want to make sure we are providing the greatest value for our players.
Games all have different scale and most of our games right now have huge scale. We designed this game to really focus on what we heard from consumers which is one of the greatest fantasies, to be able to fly an X-Wing or a TIE-Fighter and be in a dogfight.
So it doesn’t have the breadth of some of our games, but it is still an incredible game. That’s why we choose to price it at a slightly lower level. To also allow access to as many pepople as possible who have that Star Wars fantasy.”
He also added that Electronic Arts has, over the years, differentiated with pricing for a lot of games.
Wilson went on to explain that the publisher has been differentiating with pricing for a long time, and usually, they build games based on the players’ motivations and expectations, while pricing is a consequence.
“I would start with what are the player motivations we’re trying to fulfill and what are the expectations of these player groups in fulfilling these motivations.
We start there long before we ever get to pricing. As you’ve seen from us we have games across the spectrum of pricing, whether that’s free to play, or $60, or $60 with an additional life service, or as part of our subscription offerings.
At the end of the day, as we think about it, we start with the player, we start with the motivations and expectations that they have, and we build the game.
In this case, this is a very deep and immersive game and $40 felt like the right price point given the breadth of the game.
He then added that EA is very proud of what Motive is doing and wanted Squadrons to be a self-contained experience that would deeply immerse players in the fantasy.
Then he talked about pricing in a more broad sense, also touching on the free transition to PS5 and Xbox Series X for the next installment of FIFA and Madden NFL:
“As you think about pricing more broadly, we come back to that position, which is that we start with what are the players’ motivations we’re trying to fulfill, what are the expectations that players have around depth and breadth and live service in any given experience, and we go from there.
As we think about this year, we’ve seen what we’ve done is that we’ve announced that we will offer the ability to transition free of charge from the existing generation of console titles to the next-generation of console titles for FIFA and Madden.
We set out to build the best PS4 and Xbox One experience we could as well as the most innovative and creative experiences for Xbox Series X and PS5, and what we wanted give our players this year – because that’s what they asked for – was the smoothest possible transition that meant they can jump into the games at launch on existing platforms, and then move into the next platform as it makes sense for them later in the year.
That has been our focus this year and we will continue to kinda look at this over time.”
If you’d like to learn more about Electronic Arts’ financial performance during the past quarter, you can read our dedicated article with plenty of info.